Shatter the glass ceiling: Women may make better managers

Human Resource Management (Impact Factor: 1.52). 11/2006; 33(4):549 - 560. DOI: 10.1002/hrm.3930330405

ABSTRACT There is considerable evidence that women encounter a glass ceiling or barrier to advancement into the executive ranks of organizations. Although many expected this barrier to be obliterated with the large influx of women entering the work force over the last two decades, little change has actually occurred in the most senior ranks. In most sectors, women still comprise less than 5 percent of board directorships and corporate officerships.This article focuses on emerging evidence which indicates that the trend in U.S. corporations toward high-involvement work teams, consensus decision making, and empowerment may actually benefit the leadership styles that women already exhibit. Preliminary evidence is also provided which indicates that female managers are seen as more transformational than their male counterparts—a leadership style that has been shown to have a strong positive impact on individual, group, and organizational performance.